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IDAL Mentorship

The IDAL Mentorship Program focuses on supporting the growth and development of Decorative Painting. The program partners a beginner or intermediate (the ‘Apprentice’) and a more experienced artisan (the ‘Mentor’) for a six-month mentorship. A Mentor provides a source of knowledge, guidance, and support, to strengthen the artistic and/or business skills of the Apprentice. Working with a Mentor can greatly impact the trajectory of an Apprentice’s career with guidance for goal achievement. 

Teachers vs. Mentors

Having the right people on a team is key for growth. During the path of any career, there will be Teachers as well as Mentors. The key difference is that Teachers share their knowledge while focusing on the How, and Mentors share their experience while focusing on the Why

Teachers provide workshops that are an invaluable resource to Decorative Painters. IDAL recommends focusing on finding a class that offers a specific set of skills to learn and master. Workshops offer firsthand knowledge tools, materials, and demonstrations by the teacher to impart new techniques and finishes, for the purpose of expanding a portfolio or helping master a discipline. 

Mentors lead the way by imparting their collective years of working knowledge and experience, with the goal of shortening the time or years it takes to reach the particular goals of an Apprentice. The Mentor will help guide and encourage the desire to improve artistic skills and help confidently stride in the direction of the Apprentice’s set goals. A Mentor is not a teacher, but more of a support system for the Apprentice, helping guide, suggest, recommend, and encourage.

Mentorships vs. Internships

Mentorships and Internships are two very valuable keys to the success of any career trajectory. The difference between both is that Internships provide real-world experience in a hands-on manner, while Mentorships focus on developing business skills beyond hands-on techniques. 

Internships can be gained with an established Decorative Painting Studio or a Professional Painting company. The company can train on basics, such as taping, all the way to the proper troweling methods for Venetian Plaster. Valuable experience in real life situations, such as working with a team, fixing errors, collaborating with a client, setting up a project (i.e., scaffolds, proper prep) and more, can be learned and experienced.

Mentorships provide the ability to learn from the real-life experience of others and enjoy the benefits of learning that knowledge in a time-saving manner. A Mentorship allows a person to grow personally and professionally, with the possibility of developing an ongoing beneficial relationship with Mentor. Various mentors can nurture and advise you throughout different stages of your career.

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IDAL Mentorship Program Details 

The IDAL Mentorship Program offers a career development, relationship building, and goal-based program of peer mentoring, open to beginner and intermediate IDAL members seeking one-on-one mentorship from an experienced IDAL member for a period lasting six (6) months. The Novice Decorative Painter may be looking to start their Decorative Painting career. An intermediate Decorative Painter may want to explore expanded growth with the guidance of an experienced Decorative Painter. Mentors can and will provide an array of options to consider and offer constructive feedback, all with the permission of the Apprentice.  Each partnership begins with Mentors and Apprentices agreeing on learning objectives, set with clear goals for activities and purposes they will decide on and pursue together. 

The IDAL Mentor is a friend, a trusted guide who shares knowledge, resources, support, and feedback with a less experienced colleague. The IDAL Apprentice’s responsibility is to identify goals and make reasonable progress toward attaining those goals. 

IDAL Mentors and Apprentices are recruited and matched based on availability and areas of interest. Applications are accepted from September – November of every year.


The IDAL Mentorship Program Committee will review submissions. Five (5) partnerships will be decided in December, announced in January, and the six-month Mentorship Program will last from February through July. Since IDAL is an organization with members located across the United States, there is a strong possibility that the Mentors and Apprentices will not be able to meet in person. The Mentor and Apprentice may choose a communication method that works for both, with a monthly commitment of meeting for 1 – 2 hours, either in person, by phone, or online. 

Are you interested in becoming a Mentor? 

Are you interested in finding a mentor?

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